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A Lifetime of Labor
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ALICE H. COOK was a professor in the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and a member of the executive board of Cornell's women's studies program. Her many books include The Most Difficult Revolution: Women and Trade Unions and The Working Mother: A Survey of Problems and Progress in Nine Countries.

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A Lifetime of Labor

The Autobiography of Alice H. Cook
Alice H. Cook

Foreword by Arlene Kaplan Daniels

The work of the indefatigable Alice Hanson Cook has benefitted the lives of working people—and especially working women—on four continents. Her pioneering work in union organizing, worker education, and equal rights for working women took her across the country and around the world, across racial, ethnic, national, and class lines, and across boundries she refused to accept as impassable.

In A Lifetime of Labor, Cook recounts a remarkable life that spans a century and intersects with progressive movements at home and abroad. Booklist calls A Lifetime of Labor “the autobiography of an enduring and persistent activist. Appropriately, the book closes with Cook’s ‘Agenda for Change,’ which calls for a ‘new definition of equality’ to recognize the needs and rights of women and men in their roles as both parents and workers. At age 94, Alice Cook was still fighting the good fight.”

"Drawn from [Cook’s] own diaries and notes, this book is both graceful autobiography and perceptive social history that will be of lasting value."

Library Journal

"This is a deeply satisfying memoir by a very great lady."

Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

"Richly rewarding reading, Alice Cook's autobiography seems destined to become one of the most vital histories of progressive women in the twentieth century. . . . She created paths for women at the same time that she promoted industrial democracy. An extremely moving chronicle that connects our own time with social justice struggles nationally and internationally throughout the century."

—Kathryn Kish Sklar, distinguished professor of History, State University of New York at Binghamton

"A Lifetime of Labor expands our understanding of the experience of living in the twentieth century as a participant—and leader—in its many progressive movements. . . . Cook made choices, changed directions, shaped lives—and defied almost all of the pre-1960s stereotypes about women's options."

—Ronnie Steinberg, professor of Sociology and Director of Women's Studies, Vanderbilt University

"This book chronicles the remarkable journey of nine decades by a remarkable woman. From her earliest involvement in worker education to her path-breaking research and advocacy for the special challenges faced by working mothers in the major industrialized countries, Cook has set a high standard of excellence and passion for academics and practitioners."

—Robert B. McKersie, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, MIT

"This fascinating autobiography, detailing Alice Cook's lifelong involvement in progressive reform, shows us what one woman can accomplish. We have all benefited from Cook's unsurpassed commitment to improving the welfare of working women."

—Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History, Cornell University

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